Biden appoints longtime ally to chair board of advisers on HBCUs


President Biden will appoint Tony Allen, president of Delaware State University and a longtime friend and ally of Biden’s, as the chairman of the president’s board of advisers on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the White House announced Wednesday.

Allen became president of Delaware State University, an HBCU, in January 2020. He previously was executive vice president since 2017. Allen oversaw Biden’s presidential inauguration committee late last year and served as a special assistant and speechwriter for Biden from 1997 to 2000 in the Senate. 

The board of advisers is in place to advance the HBCU Initiative, which President Carter established to direct the Education secretary to support HBCUs.

Biden last week signed an executive order to reestablish the initiative and create a government-wide approach for supporting HBCUs.

Allen previously was managing director of corporate reputation at Bank of America, co-founded the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and Public Allies Delaware, and worked on public education reform in Delaware. 

The White House noted that Delaware State University is ranked the third best public HBCU in the U.S., and it raised $40 million in 2020 under Allen’s leadership.

Allen also is on the boards of Graham Holdings and Pepco Holdings and on the Economic and Community Advisory Council for the Philadelphia Federal Reserve.

The Biden administration has committed more than $4 billion in support for HBCUs through pandemic relief and forgiving debt for some institutions. Vice President Harris, a Howard University alum, is the first HBCU graduate to be elected vice president.

Tags Delaware State University HBCUs Historically black colleges and universities Joe Biden Tony Allen
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